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22 Apr 10. US to set up fighter base in Helmand. Construction work is under way to allow the US Air Force (USAF) to base up to 36 Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles and Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II combat aircraft at Camp Bastion airfield in Afghanistan’s Helmand province later this year. The creation of facilities at what up to now has been a predominately British logistics base will allow USAF combat aircraft to respond quicker to requests for close air support from US and NATO troops fighting Taliban insurgents in southern and western Afghanistan. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

26 Apr 10. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) on Monday said it would move its headquarters to Virginia from Los Angeles, after a nearly five-month search that ruled out rival offers from Washington and Maryland. Northrop Chief Executive Officer Wes Bush, who first announced the defense company’s plans to relocate from Los Angeles in January, said Northrop expected to move some 300 people into its new corporate offices in summer 2011. (Source: Reuters)

28 Apr 10. AgustaWestland announced that an official opening ceremony was held today for the grand opening of LIATEC’s (Libyan Italian Advanced Technology Company) new facility at Abou Aisha airport, 60 km South of Tripoli. LIATEC is a Joint Stock Company incorporated in Libya and established through an agreement signed in January 2006 by the three shareholders – Libyan Company for Aviation Industry (50%), Finmeccanica (25%) and AgustaWestland (25%). LIATEC is a new industrial entity aimed at improving and developing the aviation and electronic systems capabilities in the country. The new dedicated facility at Abou Aisha airport includes final assembly lines for single and twin engine helicopters. The final assembly of helicopters expands on the existing maintenance and training activities performed by LIATEC. The new facility will also enable LIATEC to expand its support and maintenance capabilities for helicopters as well as for upgrading training and transport airplanes with the latest generation of avionic systems.

29 Apr 10. Joined by political and industry dignitaries, Cobham formally opened its new state-of-the-art, “green building” certified composites manufacturing facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony here today. The 73,500-sq. ft. facility represents one of the country’s few high-volume production capabilities of advanced composite products for the aerospace and defense industries. Industry and state leaders expect that 200 new jobs will be created in the first five years of operation. Cobham has invested over $5 million in just over four months to acquire and build the critical infrastructure necessary to establish this facility, located at 6900 Harbour View Blvd., Suffolk, Va. Complementing existing Cobham composite facilities in San Diego, Calif., this new facility will manufacture advanced aircraft engine components, aircraft and rotorcraft structural products, unmanned aerial vehicle components, as well as missile and munitions products for the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. For example, the facility will manufacture engine components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter using advanced high temperature composite materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. It will employ Cobham’s unique Memory Shape Mandrel™ technology to produce an advanced composite fuselage for the U.S. Air Force’s Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) that improves fuselage quality, reduces manufacturing costs, and uses a domestic source for raw material, eliminating the risks and costs of a foreign material source. The facility will use an innovative “Out-of-Autoclave” precision bonding process in the manufacture of the main rotor blades for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps CH-53K, eliminating the expense and bottleneck associated with conventional autoclave curing.

MARITIME

23 Apr 10. As Astute, the first of the new generation nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN) for

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